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Garda Trek - LowLoop 2: from Arco to Riva del Garda
Torbole sul Garda - Nago, Riva del Garda, Arco
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Activity time
Duration in hours
Distance in km
Suggested period
The second stage of the Low Loop takes you back to Riva del Garda, touching on Nago and Torbole, then following the lake shore to the point you started from, exploring the eastern shore of Garda Trentino.
The second stage also winds its way along what today are secondary roads but were once the main communication routes in Garda Trentino. Crossing terraced farmland, you touch on key locations in local history while the final stage takes you along the shore where the main focus is Lake Garda itself.
Further information and useful links
  • The Low Loop intersects with some of the itineraries in the “Hidden Treasures” series, recommended for anyone interested in the history, literary connections and art of Garda Trentino. You can, for example, follow in the footsteps of Goethe, who wrote about his stay in Torbole in his Travels in Italy. Or you can walk along a stretch of the “Blue Line”, the last line of defence built at the foot of the Italian Alps by the German armed forces in 1944-45.  Info about the different routes and free gps-tracks are available on our website
  • For more information on routes and hike services, guides, shops and hiking friendly accommodation: all about trekking in Garda Trentino - Tel. +39 0464 554444 

Route info
19,2 km
Activity time
7 h 10 min
543 m
569 m
Technical skills
Physical effort
Highest point
303 m
Lowest point
62 m

On the way down from Vastrè to San Martino you cross the area known as Bosco Caproni. Here there used to be quarries for mining oolite, a stone used in construction and decorative sculpture. Today, the area is an open air climbing gym which draws climbers from all over the world. Bosco Caproni takes its name from the family of Gianni Caproni, an aviation pioneer born here in 1886.

Shortly before you reach Nago, the trail passes the Belvedere: take a few minutes to stop and admire the view over the entire northern end of Lake Garda.

Safety guidelines
The information on this chart is subject to inevitable variations, so this means that none of the indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case,  the hiker is advised to check the conditions of the places, environment and weather before setting out.
Punto di partenza
Arco - city center

From the bridge over the River Sarca follow the cycle path along the river northwards until you come to Moletta and a bike-grill. Leave the cycle path and turn right into a built-up area until you come to the main road. Cross the road and take the trail SAT  667 "Sentiero della Maestra" which zig zags up around the promontory of Vastrè as far as Case Caproni. At the top of the outcrop, a short detour to the right takes you to the recently uncovered trenches from World War I. From Case Caproni the trail heads into the Oolite Quarries. Now you head downhill in a southerly direction through the deep cavities left by the quarry. Along the sheer cliffs you will see climbers on some of the most difficult routes in the world. The path ends at a stream at the base of one of the most famous climbing crags in Garda Trentino, Policromuro di Massone. Now head down a lane through the olive groves, pass a turn-off on your right and head straight on until you come to a lane going uphill to your left which goes through an olive grove until it comes to Massone from the East. Now take a narrow road on your left with stone walls on either side and almost immediately leave it for a dirt track on the left. Initially you will find you are crossing the slopes of the ridge which comes down from Monte Stivo, then you cross the alluvial fan now planted with vineyards and olive groves. When you return to the road at the Capitello delle Quattro Facce or four-faced pillar, head downhill towards Bolognano, keeping to the right and passing by the cemetery and church of San Floriano. When you get to the village, cross it heading south until you come to Vignole where you cross the main road at the hotel Albergo Everest. Immediately afterwards, at the little cemetery, turn right onto the road and cross the plain of Pratosaiano with its orchards. Keep going along the main road to the south (towards Lake Garda). Go through the crossroads and after 300 metres turn onto a dirt track on the left and, after a little bridge, take a parallel road which soon becomes a dirt track, cutting across the hillside above the final stretch of the River Sarca up to Nago. The dirt track comes out in the car park near the glacial potholes known as the Marmitte dei Giganti. On the other side beside the little kiosk bar, a dirt road leads to the roundabout at the start of the town of Nago. Follow a short flight of steps up to the right, and then continue on to the right to the ruins of Castel Penede. From here, return towards the town centre, going down the other side from the one you came up by, and keep to the right until you come to a junction. Turn right onto the old Santa Lucia Road which leads to Torbole, Here you can follow the cycle path back to Riva del Garda.

The trail is well-marked with “GardaTrek Low Loop” signposts.

public transportation
To cut the hike short, you can use public transport to get back to Riva del Garda or Arco from Bolognano, Nago and Torbole sul Garda. 

For up-to-the-minute information on timetables and routes

How to get there

You need to be wearing the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.

What should you take when you go on a hike?

What you should have in your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do):

  • water canteen (1L)
  • snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
  • First aid kit
  • windproof jacket
  • fleece
  • change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
  • make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
  • hat
  • sun screen
  • sunglasses
  • gloves
  • whistle to attract attention in an emergency
  • emergency telephone number: 112

Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.

And finally...
... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.

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